49% of Recruiters Say Managers With Innovation Skills In High Demand

Posted July 23, 2012 by

Mark Anderson of ExecunetForty-nine percent of the executive recruiters surveyed by ExecuNet revealed that executive and other managers with proven innovation skills were hard to find, compared to other skills, and 31 percent said companies were willing to pay a premium for innovative talent – even in today’s job market.

“With product lifecycles declining rapidly, increased global competition and pressure from changing customer needs, executives who have demonstrated they can challenge business assumptions and find the areas of opportunities in current business models are in demand,” says Mark Anderson, President of ExecuNet. “We counsel executives everyday that they have to do more than claim they were ‘innovative’ on their résumés. They need to show a quantifiable history of innovating and its impact on their previous organizations,” adds Anderson.

To negotiate top pay for top innovation skills, executive recruiters revealed that 32 percent of hiring managers “want concrete examples of innovation by the candidate in previous positions.”

In ExecuNet’s survey of 188 executive recruiters, corporate culture was the driving factor in fostering innovation, more so than the CEO’s risk tolerance or any executive’s individual efforts. The five most important factors fostering innovation were:

  1. Culture/environment in which one operates – 39%
  2. CEO’s willingness to take calculated risks and invest in innovation – 21%
  3. Inherent traits of a person or business leader – 19%
  4. Quality and quantity of other innovative thinkers in an organization – 12%
  5. Role in which one serves – 5%

“The moral may be that everyone in the organization can be a partner to innovation and clearly, you ‘can’t be an island’ to effectively drive a company to high levels of innovation,” said Anderson.

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